21 Aug The Top Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Master
Blink, and you’ll miss it and your bottom line could be a blow-out – that’s how fast cybertrends can change it seems. The mistake many make is that when it comes to online marketing for business it isn’t about keeping up with the latest but rather, re-assessing the basics of what’s actually required tech, strategy, content or otherwise. Attempting anything else is building your company sandcastles in a non-existent digital cloud somewhere. Invest in key approaches that will outlast the trends because they transcend them, and keep you ahead of the commerce, retail, branding and messaging curves. We take a look at some of the top digital marketing trends for businesses to master in the coming years:
Social Media Trends
It goes without saying that if your business is absent on social media, you probably don’t exist to consumers. Currently, 5 billion Google searches are conducted every day and 2.4 billion Facebook users are active per month.
But with Instagram likes set to be dropped from the platform and Facebook likes also coming to an end, the way brands use influencer marketing will have to change, and so will their reporting on social media metrics for stakeholders.
What can you do to stay ahead?
- Move to eliciting engagement (reactions, shares and comments) rather than likes.
- Fuel engagement by responding more frequently to consumers, but with discernment. You’re likely to see a net gain in positive sentiment when your next set of social media reporting arrives. A nett gain in sentiment is the new brand currency.
Search Engine Optimisation
Remember those 5 billion Google searches per day we talked about earlier? Well, if the Google algorithm doesn’t recognise your content as a good match for the search, users won’t find you. Make sure you stay ahead of the curve by doing the following:
- Understanding search engine optimisation (SEO) and why it is the one digital strategy with the highest advertising ROI. Your offices may be closed, but while no one’s answering the phones, you’re coming up tops in a Google search somewhere. If that isn’t worth the investment, nothing is. Check out our easy guide for an introduction to “What Is SEO?”
- Make sure you write good quality content on your website that matches the kinds of searches people are likely to do around your services or products.
- Understand the importance of keywords, slugs, meta titles, meta descriptions, and more.
So your SEO is great and traffic to your site is spiking – now you need the sale or buy-in conversion. Some top tips are:
- Make sure your site architecture is sound – invest in a website development audit if you need to – which is something SOMS specialises in. This directly affects how search engines crawl your site and how quickly a user will get to the product or service they want.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of a professionally designed website, and keep in mind that your landing page is king. It’s not a springboard to another site; it’s an invitation to stay and explore. Focussed, clear messaging is important.
- Create content that will lead to conversions. You have a call to action? So what? Is it clear what the next steps are. As little as one vague step in an ordering or payment process can throw off a consumer from heading to the check out.
Automation for the Simple Things
Website bots are so 2010. You need WhatsApp for Business that allows you to prepopulate responses of up to 3 000 characters and execute many other advanced two-way messaging functions.
You also need agility, the ability to meet economies of scale, secure sales solutions, consumer-facing apps, mobility and more. This means investing in enterprise management tools and software to:
- streamline production
- help with customer relations management
- future-proof your brand and service, and
- lead to more consumer-centric comms.
It’s All About Engagement
It’s not just about public engagement – spend half your resources privately engaging, too. No one likes to feel like they’re a part of the herd, so this one should be self-evident. One-one-one conversations, however time-consuming or draining, are no longer optional. The more special and connected your clients feel, the more loyal they’ll be, and the more your bottom line will benefit.
Email Marketing with Defined Segmentation
Surprise, surprise: South Africans with internet access spend more time online than users in some developed countries.
When it comes to digital marketing, email marketing may not be a new trend; but, being as solid on ROI as it is and a reliable, widely-used digital communication tool, it remains integral to any online marketing strategy. Despite only 54% of South Africans having internet access, we spend more time online on average than internet users in America or Germany, according to the Global State of Digital in 2019 Report. And email engagement forms a large part of that time spent online every day.
The (good) way it is right now
To examine why email marketing will remain critical, let’s first start with the traditional reasons: whether compared to social media or traditional marketing channels, email marketing services still outperform both on all key criticals: cost, reach, and ROI. The social media giants of our time such as Facebook and Snapchat have to fight it out for eyeball dominance based on market segmentations such as age, as but one limiting factor. By contrast, sale conversion rates from using email marketing services stay hard to beat according to most companies, regardless of age. After all, these days even your grandfather is likely to have an email address.
The question is though: what sets aside an effective email marketing campaign from the average, and this is where we it becomes important to define email trends, or dos and don’ts.
Why and how good can become great
So, what are the digitally ‘woke’ companies using for email marketing? They’re opting for more bespoke bulk email services that include the following next-level must-haves:
- Data hygiene checks and integrated email address database updates. You don’t have the time to update your data list so this must be auto-integrated.
- A good data verification process. It should include identifying and troubleshooting invalid addresses, identifying disposable inboxes and spam traps; and checking domain, syntax and inbox activity. The nett effect is that your subscriber list may shrink, but the improved quality of your data will lead to a higher open and engagement rate.
- Data segmentation and enrichment. Which email recipients like coffee or go to gym twice a week? The more tailored your campaigns, the better.
- Enterprise Resource Planning, e.g. booking systems, event management platforms. Why advertise your merchandise when you can also facilitate a commercial transaction at the same time?
Data-led Communication is Critical
So now you’ve got your data segmentation in place, the permutations that will come from even basic research are very insightful. It follows from the above that your data is your wealth. Now you can, and should:
- Use a data-led insight strategy to anticipate criticism, and rectify misperceptions.
- Predict buying and other behavioural patterns, and target consumers with acute precision.
- Drive fact-based and sentiment-enhancing conversations around important brand topics.
Now that you know the top digital marketing trends for 2020, is your business ready for the year ahead? Contact SOMS today for a marketing strategy that will keep you ahead of the curve and your competitors!
Originally posted 2020-01-06 11:12:21.